A look into a virtual future of advertising

In 2008, I took a bit of a leap from my then 16-year-old advertising agency to form a technology company with investors and developers and some crazy ideas. That has been one of the most transformative experiences in my business life. But that’s not what I want to talk about here.

Our first rollercoaster ride was into virtual reality. In 2008, when nobody was there and Facebook probably hadn’t heard of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset (which they bought in 2014 for $2 billion), we built a virtual world online dating site because it had been proven that daters would go to that very elusive second date if they experienced each other virtually first.

Then we thought Augmented Reality might be an interesting adjunct to VR, which is a way of meshing the real world with the digital. Think – you’re looking through your iPad screen via its camera and when it sees your friend it turns him or her into Chewbacca from Star Wars. As she walks around, she is Chewbacca as long as you keep looking at her through the iPad screen. (It had to recognize your friend first and then wrap her in Chewbacca skin.)

We were early with both these innovative technologies and we later discovered that they had huge opportunities in marketing (see video above). The times are changing and the market is ready for virtual and augmented reality.

We see virtual reality being used already in tourism where you see the place you’d love to visit in virtual reality – as if you are there. We see augmented reality in allowing you to try on clothes virtually, using both VR and AR to accurately size you. We also see it in amazing form in this example of demonstrating a refrigerator without having to go to the store.??LG Fridge example

What do you think about these new experiential technologies and how much more likely you would buy if you could use them in your shopping experience?